Track days and autocross are events where newcomers and hardcore enthusiasts alike can improve their driving skills and get the most out of their cars. Unfortunately at these events, common racetrack etiquette isn’t always practiced — or taught. Here are the ten best ways to be a track day jerk.
10.) Idling In The Paddock
Chances are no one wants to be breathing in your race fuel exhaust fumes. If you’re in the queue waiting to get on track, or even worse, sitting in a closed garage, shut off the car.
9.) Skipping Work Assignments
One of the core reasons why autocross is as low-cost as it is known to be is because much of the organization and “work” involved, is done by volunteers. In fact, most commonly with SCCA autocross, “working the course” is a requirement if you plan on running the course in your car. If you’re skipping your work assignment, you’re being unfair to the drivers around you, and a straight up jerk.
8.) Ignoring The Classroom Session
If you’re being asked to sit through a classroom session or safety briefing prior to heading out on track, there’s probably a good reason for it. Pay attention. It’s for your own good.
7.) Racing Through The Paddock
Whether it’s an autocross, track day or race day, there are bound to be pedestrians roaming the staging areas and paddock. Keep it safe. Save the racing for when you’re out on track. Don’t forget that many racing organizations will penalize you if a team member is caught speeding when off track.
6.) Not Pointing By
Because track day driving isn’t racing, the safest way to pass slower drivers is to be pointed by the slower driver. This way, both drivers are aware of the passing and both drivers can continue with their performance driving. Unfortunately, this only works if the slower driver actually points the faster vehicle by.
5.) Not Leaving The Racing At The Track
You probably learned something new on-track and want to finally put it to use in the real world or maybe you’re just pumped up from all that leftover adrenaline. Either way, public roads are no place for dive-bombing apexes or practicing how to rotate your car. Save it for the next track day.
4.) Wreck Someone Else
No better way to ruin another driver’s day than to drag them into your own poor-driving misery. Drive within your limits, drive within your car’s limits and don’t endanger those around you.
3.) Leak Fluids All Over The Course
How selfish could one be? If you know your car has a high likelihood to gush its own fluids all over the asphalt, how’s about you don’t let that happened during my track day?
2.) Sabotage Other Cars
It’s okay that you just got passed by a flock of Miatas! No one’s judging. Don’t get hasty. No need to go over there and de-torque their wheels or cut their brake lines.
1.) Not Listening To Instructors
Please, please pay attention to your instructor. They’re there to help you learn, keep the day going and most of all, keep you and the other drivers safe on course.
Instructors get into cars with drivers they don’t know, with levels of skill that might be all over the place. Cut them some slack, make their jobs a little less nerve-racking and give them your ears.
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